10 of the Best, Most Charming Bookstores in the World

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

Have you ever visited a bookstore that was so cozy and comforting that you never wanted to leave? Check out the list of magical, charming bookstores. Some of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. You'll find everything from a sprawling, grand bookstore located in a former theater to a folksy bookstore run by a cat boss in Hawaii.

These are in random order because picking a favorite would just be wrong. Tell us which one you'd like to visit most in the comments below!

coolest bookstores in the world


Octavia’s Bookshop

Gloucestershire, England

When you think of a magical bookshop, you probably think of something just like this... It could be straight out of a Harry Potter novel!

Octavia's Bookshop's iconic purple facade is so magical and cozy that you may recognize it from Pinterest or Instagram! They are self described as "an independent, nostalgic, magical bookshop that specialises in children’s books and great recommendations." Their mascot is a cute little hippo.


Octavia's Bookshop | Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

Octavia's Bookshop Inside | Beautiful Bookshops


Visit them online:

https://www.octaviasbookshop.co.uk/


 


The Last Bookstore

Los Angeles, CA

Located in a one-hundred-year-old bank building, The Last Bookstore has large, vaulted ceilings and books as far as the eye can see. They’re the largest new and used bookstore in California. Aside from the books (I know, blasphemy!) they also have a record store, comic book store, 5 art studios, an epic yarn shop, a famous book tunnel, a mammoth head, and unexpected nooks and crannies of oddities. They also claim one of their bank vaults is haunted.


The Last Bookstore | Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

Photo Credit: Lex Voight


The Last Bookstore | Coolest Bookstores in the USA

Photo Credit: @cloud_symmetry


Visit them online:

https://www.lastbookstorela.com/


 

Sweet Pickle Books

New York, NY


I had to include this place because it's just oozing millennial vibes. Please forgive me Gen Z. This oddball hole-in-the-wall bookstore sells pickles, which they claim are incredibly good. (Until we visit, the jury is out on the pickles.) They've also got a delightfully retro store window with gold lettering, a glass window with somewhat creepy dolls and an old television set.

While scrolling their Instagram, I was awash in the feels of the 90s and 00s with throwbacks from Matilda, All That, Sex and the City, and The Simpsons--all cleverly woven in with their bookish theme.

Sweet Pickles Books | Quirkiest Bookstores



Photo Credit: Instagram: @oonaro_


Visit them online:

https://www.instagram.com/sweetpicklebooks/



 

Shakespeare & Company

Paris, France


“I created this bookstore like a man would write a novel, building each room like a chapter, and I like people to open the door the way they open a book, a book that leads into a magic world in their imaginations.” —George Whitman


Shakespeare & Company is an English language bookstore located right across from Notre Dame Cathedral.


Shakespeare and Company | Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

Visit them online:

https://shakespeareandcompany.com/

https://www.instagram.com/shakespeareandcoparis/

 

El Ateneo Grand Splendid

Buenos Aires, Argentina


One of the most beautiful bookstores in the world! With over one million visitors a year! Et Ateneo Grand Splendid is inside of an ornate former theatre.


Photo Credit: Roberto Fiadone

Photo Credit: Above and Below, Liam Quinn



Visit them online:

https://www.yenny-elateneo.com/

 

Sundog Books

Seaside, Florida

When most people think bookstores, they think of dim lighting, the smell of old pages, and plush couches. Think again! Sundog Books is #beachread vibes and totally worth the visit. They're a family-owned, indie bookstore that has been in business for 30+ years! Check out these amazing photos below.


Sundog Books | Coolest Bookstores in the World

Photo Credit: @nicki.festervad.parks

Visit them online:

https://www.sundogbooks.com/


 

Boulder Book Store

Boulder, CO

Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder Book Store is the largest independent bookstore in the area and Publishers Weekly Bookstore of the Year for 2018!


Boulder Book Store | Beautiful Bookshops


Visit them online:

https://www.boulderbookstore.net/


 

Talk Story Bookstore

Hanapepe, Kauai, Hawaii🌺

Aloha! Meet Talk Story Bookstore, the Westernmost bookstore in the United States. Talk Story hosts variety of new books, used books, out of print books, comic books, vinyl records, vintage books, rare + collectables, and even vintage video games!


I would be remiss to mention Talk Story’s infamous cat boss, Celeste. Pictured below at her perch, where she oversees all book sales. Don’t worry…she has an Instagram. And yes, we’re already following her. lol


Talk Story Bookstore | Unusual & Quirky Bookstores


Visit them online:

https://www.talkstorybookstore.com/

https://www.instagram.com/talk_story_bookstore/ https://www.instagram.com/celeste_the_cat_boss/


 

Book Mill

Montague, MA

Ready to lounge with a book while overlooking the river?


The Montague Bookmill is a used bookstore housed in an 1842 gristmill, set on the banks of the Sawmill River, a few miles north of Northampton and Amherst, Massachusetts. The mill building is also home to a unique cafe, a gourmet restaurant, a record store selling vinyl, CD’s and DVD’s, and an artists’ collective.


Book Mill | Coolest Bookstores in the World



Visit them online:

https://maq.ujw.mybluehost.me/

https://www.instagram.com/bookmill/



 

Powell's Books

Portland, OR


A bookstore that is so large you need a map? Be still my heart. Powell's Books in Portland, OR is so large it takes up an entire city block.



Visit them online:

https://www.powells.com/

https://www.instagram.com/powellsbooks/

 

Cook & Book

Brussels, Belgium

Feeling peckish? Might I suggest Cook & Book—a combined restaurant and bookstore experience. Yes, you heard that right. Do you need a link straight to Expedia? I got you.


Cook & Book has nine bookshops each with a different dining ambience.


Cook & Book | Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

Visit them online:

https://www.instagram.com/cookandbook_/

(360 view) https://cookandbook.com/visite360/


 


Bart's Books

Bart’s Books has the most simplistic and breathtaking outdoor setting. Some of the photos remind me of The Hobbit. So, of course, it made the list! They’ve bee in business since 1964 and host a collection of 130,000+ used and new books, including rare out-of-print selections and well-loved favorites.


Bart’s says, “Our serene, naturalistic setting embodies what attracts so many to the Ojai Valley: an emphasis on mindfulness, peace, and shared knowledge.” I’d have to agree! What do you think?





Visit them online:

https://bartsbooksojai.com/

https://www.instagram.com/bartsbooksojai/


 


Libreria Acqua Alta

Venice, Italy

What do cats, gondolas, and hordes of books have in common? They're all at Libreria Acqua Alta, a beautiful and unique bookstore located in Venice, Italy. Below you'll see stairs made of books that lead into the bookstore.


Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/woolley.sarah/



Visit them online:

https://www.instagram.com/libreriaacquaalta/